Living Stingy: 11/01/2019

High-technology home appliances can pay back their excessive costs in terms of energy cost savings, over time. But how is a realistic amount of time to hold back long? Once again, I have been pilloried for having an opinion not the same as someone elses and again actually, it deals with hydronic heat. Yes, it seems a lot like the individual who flamed me about co-signing loans – so many genuine reasons to get this done, but time and space do not enable them to elaborate. But they had plenty of time to call into question the legitimacy of my ancestors. Quite simply, they didn’t have a cogent discussion to make but acquired co-signed financing just, and want psychological validation now.

10,000 more in his IRA might have been a much better “investment”. But psychological thinking is absolutely a negative way to live – and a negative way to balance your checkbook. If you want to assess things on the merits really, you have to crunch the amounts and do the math and find out what really is practical.

And sadly, even a lot of things for sale as “practical” or “energy-saving” are often sold for psychological reasons. The Toyota Prius, by all accounts is a trusted car and its hybrid drive is effective and actually saves energy and will pay back its costs in about seven years. But that is not why people buy them.

They get them to produce a statement about their commitment to the environment. How do I know this? Well, in America, energy is cheap – by worldwide criteria. America symbolizes the largest market for the Prius Yet. In Europe, where fuel costs are astronomical, you rarely see them. The Europeans love their diesels, instead. It is an easier technology that is less expensive to buy and gets about the same fuel mileage. Nonetheless it doesn’t make a declaration about the surroundings, will it?

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As I mentioned in a prior posting, you can buy one of these small cars such as a Chevy Spark or Aveo or whatever and get near-Prius-like mileage. I was also taken to task over my publishing about extravagant washing machines. A reader highlights that they save drinking water and money.

I point out that over the 15-year-design life, they don’t really save enough of either to really change lives, unless you reside in a desert. But again, people buy fancy washers to show off. How do I know this? As the ordinary top-loader comes in one color – WHITE. And it lives in a laundry room or basement that isn’t shown off to visitors.

My top-loader is in the garage. I really don’t provide a shit or not if you are impressed by my laundry machine. Nonetheless, it begs the question: Exactly what is a good payback period for any of these energy-saving devices? I have appeared at lots of these over time, and some are apparent upgrades that pay themselves back in a short period of time. Others are just expensive boondoggles that end up costing you much more money, time, and hassle. Below are a few questions to ask yourself before you may spend a lot of money on “energy-saving” devices. 1. What’s the payback period?